Temperatures of -11C expected tonight as weather impacts commuters and flights today

"Extremely cold on Wednesday night with widespread temperatures below -5C leading to severe frost and ice,” Met Éireann said.

Paul Hyland and Amy

Temperatures are set to drop to between -7C and -11C tonight, with a Status Orange low temperature and ice warning issue for most counties.

The orange alert covers counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Leitrim, Roscommon from 6pm this evening until noon tomorrow.

"Extremely cold on Wednesday night with widespread temperatures below -5C leading to severe frost and ice,” Met Éireann said.

A nationwide Status Yellow low temperature and ice warning will continue until Friday afternoon.

It comes as hundreds of flights in and out of Dublin Airport have been cancelled since temperatures began to plummet towards the end of last week.

Many of the recent cancellations have been caused by snow, ice and freezing fog conditions at airports across the UK and mainland Europe.

Four departure and five arrival flights have been cancelled at Dublin Airport so far today, including six Paris services due to severe weather conditions in the French capital.

There are delays for motorists this morning following widespread frost and dense freezing fog on the roads.

A collision has occurred on the M7 westbound between junction 3, Citywest, and junction 4, Rathcoole.

Traffic is moving slow on the M50 between junction junction 5, N2 and junction 5, Blanchardstown. Traffic is also moving slow on the M50 between Palmerstown and Firhouse.

Irish Rail have said the 06.50am train service from Belfast to Dublin Connolly was running about 23 minutes late due to a technical issue onboard.

Gardaí have reminded road users to slow down and leave a greater gap from the vehicle in front.

"We are reminding all road users to be extra vigilant on our roads this week,” they said.

“Slow down and leave a greater gap from the vehicle in front than usual.

“Speed limits are not a target or a recommendation, you must drive to the road and traffic conditions you are experiencing.”

Meanwhile, Dublin City Council said 300km of main roads and footpaths have been gritted.

“We continue to monitor conditions in accordance with our Winter Maintenance Plan. We will be gritting 300km of the city’s main roads and gritting footpaths at a number of priority locations. It will not be possible to treat all roads and footpaths, so please exercise caution.”

Met Éireann said it will remain “very cold” throughout this week with “widespread sharp to severe frosts and icy stretches”.

“Some showers of hail, sleet and snow will occur, mainly near coasts. Accumulations at lower levels are expected to remain low,” the forecaster said.

“Freezing fog will occur at times, with winds remaining light over land. Possible impacts include treacherous conditions on paths and roads, travel disruption, potential supply disruption, potential for burst water pipes and damage to engines, increased risks to vulnerable members of the community, animal welfare issues, slack winds over land leading to reduced wind power generation.”

Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly said temperatures will drop sharply once again this afternoon.

"I have -7C widely in the forecast for overnight tonight, but it's going to be much colder than that in isolated areas... -11C showing up on my charts here,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

"It went down to minus 7.5C overnight in Mount Dillon, Roscommon... that was the lowest temperature last night. Typically, last night temperatures were down about -4C, -5C , but the thing is it’s not going to get much warmer than that today.

"Temperatures this morning aren't likely to rise above freezing for much of the country, for much of the morning. So, it will be afternoon before temperatures creep above the 0C mark and they're going to fall pretty quickly. By four o'clock. tea time. they'll be down again to -4C. So, it's really really bitterly cold out there today.”

Road users have been urged to slow down and proceed with caution again today.

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